There might be snow. There might be rain. It might be cold. It might be a blizzard. But it doesn’t really matter. This is Cleveland, and we are going to play outside.
The fifth annual Brite Winter festival on Feb. 15 from 4 to 11 p.m. lets Clevelanders turn the challenge of a tough Northeast Ohio winter into an opportunity to celebrate the season.
Brite Winter includes creative light installations, food trucks, beer gardens, bonfires, games and activities for all ages. The unique event invites emerging artists and musicians to take part in a free outdoor showcase in the middle of February.
More than 70 artists will be performing on four outdoor and six indoor stages throughout the Ohio City market district, with the main festival grounds located in Market Square Park. Music genres range from indie alternative to folk, punk, rock, bluegrass, funk, electronic and singer/songwriter. The musical slate features Air Traffic Controller, The Lighthouse and the Whaler, Herzog, Hollis Brown, OBNOX, Bars of Gold, Thaddeus Anna Greene and many more.
Stages are located in Market Square Park, the Great Lakes Brewing Co. Tasting Room, at the Cleveland Hostel, on the Town Hall Patio, at Market Avenue Wine Bar and in the Loren Naji Gallery, as well as at Joy Machines Bike Shop and the Old Angle Tavern.
Phoenix Coffee will be stationed on the festival grounds to provide hot beverages. Chipotle is cooking up barbacoa chili and Orale restaurant is serving a variety of Mexican fare. StrEAT Mobile Bistro is dishing up StrEAT burgers, mac and cheese and braised pork belly sandwiches with spicy peanut butter. The Fired UP Taco Truck is serving empanadas, tacos, Buffalo chicken and nachos. The Green Machine Food Truck is offering a Naanwich menu and Firecracker shrimp on a stick. The Orange Truk is featuring a gastropub menu. The Swenson’s Food Truck will be on hand with hot chocolate, Swenson’s signature burgers and sandwiches.
Guests are encouraged to dress warmly and wear long johns, mittens, hats, scarves and thermal socks. Parking in Ohio City is limited, but RTA trains and buses will provide transportation to the heart of the festival. You can join in the fun and be a contributing artist by bringing a lamp or light of any kind to add to the Great Wall of Light. You can get a build-your-own light kit from the Brite Winter kickstarter site at www.britewinter.com/kickstarter. In the Great Wall of Light booklet, there are six examples of small lanterns that can be made with a C7 candelabra light and a variety of affordable household items. After the festival is over, the lights are stored for safekeeping, to be brought back when the festival returns the following winter. Each year, the Great Wall of Light grows longer and brighter.
Art installation sponsors include Ohio City Inc., the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art, Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority (RTA), Voss Industries, Medical Mutual of Ohio and RGI International.